The GOP rep says the Capitol Rioter he drove on the tour was taking pictures of a lamp

  • The January 6 committee released footage showing Rep Barry Loudermilk touring a Capitol rioter on January 5, 2021.
  • Loudermilk provided a lengthy explanation of the video to reporters outside his office on Wednesday.
  • He claimed that the man, who was shown photographing a stairwell, was taking a photo of a golden eagle applique.

Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia tried to explain himself to reporters Wednesday after the committee on January 6 released security camera footage of him taking an unofficial tour of the House office buildings the day before the Capitol uprising.

A man who was on that tour, according to the committee, was at the Capitol the following day making deadly threats against Democratic lawmakers.

“People on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including corridors, stairways and checkpoints,” said committee chairman, Mississippi representative Bennie Thompson, in a letter sent. at Loudermilk on Wednesday. “The behavior of these people during the tour on January 5, 2021 raises concerns about their activity and intention while they are inside the Capitol complex.”

According to the committee, the same man shown photographing a stairwell in the basement of the Longworth House Office Building later posted a video of a man carrying a flagpole “appeared to have a pointed end” while stating, “This is for someone special, someone special. ” The man is also heard saying: “There is no escape, Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler. We are coming to get you.”

Speaking to reporters outside his office Wednesday afternoon, Loudermilk said the man was simply photographing a lamp on the wall.

“If you go to that stairwell, there’s a golden eagle hanging on the wall,” Loudermilk said. “That’s what he was taking a picture of.”

The Capitol Architect’s website includes an image of an applique similar to the one the man may have tried to photograph.

Loudermilk also said that tour attendees who took photographs at security checks in the Rayburn and Cannon House office buildings were simply looking at the trains that lawmakers vote for and the artifacts housed for the exhibit. The Capitol was closed to the public at the time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“I mean, these are people who have never been to Washington, DC,” he said. “And they were here to visit their congressman. And they were excited.”

Asked about the man’s threats against Democratic lawmakers – which included the threat of pulling the hair of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – Loudermilk condemned the rhetoric and said he did not recognize the man’s voice.

“Obviously, I don’t support anything he said, but no one in that group spoke or talked like that,” Loudermilk said.

The Georgia Republican also objected to the release of the footage and the committee’s work on January 6, arguing that the media had access to the letter before him and that the committee is attempting to create a “narrative” so that the media ” respond run with it. “

“If anyone wants to talk to me, I’ll talk to them, but they avoid me on the floor,” Loudermilk said, arguing that the committee isn’t actually interested in hearing him. The release of the footage came with a letter reiterating the request to the Republican of Georgia to speak to the committee that was originally sent nearly four weeks ago.

Loudermilk also referred to a letter from United States Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, released Tuesday by Republican Representative Rodney Davis of Illinois, which stated that the police force “did not consider any of the activities suspicious. that we have observed “.

“The Capitol police looked at it, said there was nothing suspicious, because the Capitol police know when visitors arrive, they take pictures,” he said.

Security camera footage originally released by the committee on Wednesday can be found below:

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